I'm in a party of 5 others + me, with a rogue, ranger, paladin, warlock, and fighter.

I love being a Circle of the Moon druid, but also I feel the obligation to fill the healer role (a bit of pressure from the party, but I don't mind too much because druid is my favorite class).

Can I participate in combat and still be a good healer?

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Related: Will my party function without a healer? \$\endgroup\$
    – Sdjz
    Mar 11, 2019 at 18:11
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ The answer will depend heavily on your playstyle. Is your group playing a particular module? Who told you that you will be responsible for all healing in this group? Is it just your assumption? \$\endgroup\$
    – Szega
    Mar 11, 2019 at 18:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, what do you mean by have to fill the healing role? \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Mar 11, 2019 at 18:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ Sorry, just edited the question, hope it is more clearly. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 12, 2019 at 0:46
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour, and check out the help center for more guidance. The idea-generation portion of the question (asking people for suggestions on handling it) is too open-ended and opinion-based right now to be answerable, though someone might be able to suggest an edit to make it appropriate for StackExchange's Q&A format. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Mar 12, 2019 at 1:00

3 Answers 3


Not a problem.

First, healers are not mandatory. There are other ways of handling the situation that don't require a dedicated healer spot.

Second, a circle of the moon druid is a fine healer, as long as everyone can wait until after the fight for healing (which is a good thing to shoot for anyway). You still have all the same casting slots that any other druid does, but you also have shapeshifting. The more time you spend in combat shapeshifted, the less reason you have to burn spell slots on attack spells (and thus the more you can spare for after-battle healing).

Third, the Moon Druid excels at being a HP sponge that doesn't himself require healing. Your damage output in beast form is going to be on the weak side, compared to the full-melee classes, but every attack that it soaks up is an attack that you won't have to spend resources healing later - all that damage just falls off when you shift back.

You'll be fine.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ My mantra has been that the best defense is a good offense. The action economy makes healing often the suboptimal choice. \$\endgroup\$
    – NautArch
    Mar 11, 2019 at 19:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ Combat healing has always been a suboptimal choice, barring certain cases (the new 2nd level area-healing spell in 5e is really good if you can manage to exclude the bad guys, or they're undead/constructs), and 5e is great about not needing a healer between fights, thanks to the short rest / hit dice system. Even if the rest of the answer weren't great, I'd have given my +1 for the "healers are not mandatory" alone. -Spoken as a current Life Cleric in my home game \$\endgroup\$ Mar 11, 2019 at 20:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ Taking the Sentinel feat helps a lot to motivate enemies to attack the sponge \$\endgroup\$
    – András
    Mar 12, 2019 at 15:41


You should be fine because healing HP during combat is rarely optimal except to revive a fallen ally. Sure, in those cases the Druid's Healing Word is nice because it's ranged and doesn't take an action, but providing Goodberries beforehand (allowing party members to revive an ally if needed) is almost as good.

Also note: you are actually not the only healer in your party (since both your Ranger and Paladin have healing spells). Plus (since Goodberries last 24 hours) both you and your Ranger can create Goodberries the night before an adventure utilizing your unused spells, allowing for plenty of healing between combats the next day.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ While this is true and a very good strategy, it doesn't really answer OP's question about whether it is ok if they are the only "healer" in the party. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 11, 2019 at 20:16


Ben Barden's answer has already covered the healing from Circle of the Moon druids specifically, so I'll expand on healing for that party composition in general.

I'm currently playing a campaign with an almost-identical party (Sorcerer instead of Warlock); Our Druid (Circle of Twilight) usually avoids healing spells except in the most dire of situations, due to the character's personality. However, as long as they position intelligently, this isn't an issue for the rest of the party - Both of the frontline classes, Paladin and Fighter, have healing abilities, with the Paladin's Lay on Hands being particularly important for burst healing. Meanwhile, the Ranger's Healing Spirit is crucial for drawn-out fights, though even more location-dependant - While many DMs will limit its out-of-combat usage (10d6/character is, frankly, broken), in-combat it can be used both to counteract damage and spot-heal downed players. Add Cure Wounds, potions of healing, and short rests, and you should have no trouble with sustainability.

The most important thing for this party is going to be positioning - The primary source of burst healing, the Paladin, can only heal at Touch range, which means if your Rogue gets caught while scouting ahead or your spellcasters flanked, you are going to have serious trouble, especially as Healing Spirit (which can only be moved 30 feet/round) should usually be adjacent to the most dangerous enemy (to allow your melee fighters to rotate through it without provoking attacks of opportunity).

  • \$\begingroup\$ "10d6/character"? Are you referring to the healing spirit spell? \$\endgroup\$
    – Jack
    Mar 12, 2019 at 18:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Jack yes, outside combat you can just cycle your entire party through the spirit for 1d6 healing/character/round for the duration. The way we dealt with it in our campaign was to have it fade after a couple rounds once we were no longer "in danger" (DM's discretion), so as to preserve the interesting utility and complexity of in-combat usage. \$\endgroup\$
    – Larkeith
    Mar 13, 2019 at 19:11

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